I really wanted to like this book. I seem to be currently waiting for the next installment of 3 or 4 different series. I was looking for a series of books that were already complete, and this story looked like a good one. I listened to the preview before downloading, and the narrator seemed to have a good voice, and I was excited to get started.
Unfortunately, I listened through this story, and never seemed to get into it. I kept listening, hoping it would get better as many books do, but it never did. Initially the story seemed to have promise. I liked both the characters of Llian and especially Karan. But soon Llian began to seem like a spoiled kid, and I lost interest in his part of the story. I continued to like Karan, but her story seemed jumbled and tedious. In one scene she is being chased by creatures through a swamp. The description of her struggle goes on forever. Just when you think it can't go any longer, she is suddenly free and the story takes up days later. Another thing that lacked was the magic in the story. Some sort of mind fighting between the characters that made little sense.
The last thing I didn't care for was the narrator. While I initially thought this would be a strength of the book, I soon found out I was wrong. Cartwright has a decent voice that was initially pleasing to listen too, but I started to notice that he continually stopped to swallow, and make noises that seemed like he was licking his lips. It became very distracting. I have never heard anything like it before in an audiobook.
Overall, this book had promise, it just never seemed to fulfill it.
When starting a new book, especially the first in a series from an author you haven't read before, there is always that getting comfortable period at the beginning. This is especially true with an audiobook. Are you investing time in a book that you won't want to continue the series? What's going on, and who's who? Do I like the narrator, and the way he reads the book?
Fortunately with Circle Of Reign, I seemed to quickly feel comfortable with this book. The story of Reign, a young girl who witnesses tragedy at an early age, and who along with her brother grow to fight the forces trying to wipe out her people, was both exciting and endearing. And while this may sound like yet another coming of age story, the setting and world was unique and the characters interesting and likable.
The narration by Mr. Kramer was perfect as always, and also helped with me quickly get into a comfort level with the story. Overall a very good first book. Looking forward to the next one.
The Slow Regard Of Silent Things is the story of Ari, or is supposed to be anyway. It is more like seven days in the live of Ari. Reading some of the reviews posted here, it seems most people either love or hate this story. It's either a wonderful tale of the beloved girl from the Kingkiller Chronicle, or a boring tale that has no action or ties to the original story. I found it to be close to what I expected, but lacking for the complete story I was hoping for.
I went in to this book knowing that it was a short story based Ari, and had hoped it would shed some light as to why she had become the scared girl hiding under the university. Unfortunately, we are given mostly a week of Ari carrying on with her daily rituals of life for a weeks time. I have to say, for about three quarters of the book I enjoyed learning about Ari and her unfortunate struggle with her mental health. She is an endearing character, and you can't help but feel for her. After a while though, you realize that the mysteries of how she became in such a state will not be revealed here.
As for the narration, I don't think I have yet enjoyed a book read by the author. It was almost reason for me to skip this book entirely. After listening, I think Patrick did an ok job with this, and you could tell he was enthusiastic about the reading, however I couldn't help but feeling throughout the book how much better it would have been if a female reader would have been used. This would have given Ari more life.
Overall, at only three hours, I feel this book is worth a listen, and am glad I purchased it.
Wanting a break from my usual listening fare, I decided to give City of Stairs a listen. The book is described as a fantasy, but it is definitely not your typical story of Kings and Knights set in a world of Elves and Ogres. City of Stairs is set in a world with magic and wonders, but also some modern conveniences.
This book would seem to have all you need for a fantastic journey, starting with a very good performance by Alma Cuervo as the narrator, who's voice seemed perfect for the main character Sharra. The premise of the story is good as well. In a city built by gods, Sharra is a secret agent who has come to investigate the murder of a top government employee by the long suppressed people of the city. The gods have been killed by a long since dead relative of Sharra herself, and their country has been occupied ever since.
I liked the premise of this story right from the beginning, however quickly found out that there are some issues with this book as well. To start, the first half of the book starts to bog down as there is nothing really happening other than long sequences of info dumps. Characters seem to sit around and tell the story of how the city came into being rather than the story naturally laying out what had happened as the story progresses. In one example, Sharra is confronted by a city leader over her questioning of a citizen of the city. She reluctantly lets the citizen leave, and then is so angry that she invites everyone around her to the kitchen where she cooks a meal for them and proceeds to tell the entire history of every god, including what their beliefs are, their relationship with the other gods, and how they died. All interesting stuff, but the scenario made no sense, and the telling drug out miserably.
Other issues were the setting itself. I was intrigued by the setting initially as fantasy type books usually don't include such things as cars, trains, and guns. The odd thing though is that even though Sharra arrives and departs on a train, then rides in a car to the embassy, and speaks about the use of guns hundreds of years before, none of these things are featured much in the story. Cars are available, but everyone walks everywhere. Guns are available, yet everyone uses swords, knives, and cross bolts. Trains and cars have been invented, but modern conveniences like lights, plumbing, or phones have not. It's a little confusing.
Overall, despite the slow start, once the story gets going and the action picks up, I did find myself enjoying this book. The characters were mostly likable, and that carries a story with some holes in it.
Preferring to get the most out of my money for the credits I am allowed each month, I have never used one of them on a story this short before. However, being a big fan of Mr. Sanderson, and seeing many good reviews for this book, I decided to make an exception this one time.
I think after listening this book is worth the credit I used on it. It is a very short story, but typical with Sanderson's books, I found myself quickly absorbed in this story about a girl who is kidnapped and then ordered to use illegal magic to remake the soul of the Emperor. Angela Lin's narration was perfect for this story, bringing out the personality of the characters.
If there is any downside to this tale it would be that it leaves you wanting so much more. I hope Mr. Sanderson comes back to this story again in the future.
After listening to Blood Song, I felt it was one of the best books I had listened to all year, if not one of the best I have listened to period. I was very excited for the release of Tower Lord, and pre-ordered it. However, before I could listen to it, I started to see reviews panning the book for it's change from a first person point of view used in the first book to a multiple person point of view. Since I loved the format of the first book, and after reading the bad reviews of the second, I started off my listen of Tower Lord with a negative impression before even getting started.
After finishing the book, I'm happy to say my doubts were all for nothing. I found myself enjoying this book from the get go, and never looked back. I found the new POV's storylines to be just as interesting and exciting as the storyline of Vaelin. Of the three new characters, only Riva is a new addition to the story, and her part intertwines with Vaelin’s for much of the book. The others are Princess Lerner, who finds herself maturing into a leader a she travels as an ambassador to foreign lands, and Frintis, Vaelin’s friend and comrade from The Order whom is thought to be dead. Of the three, I found myself most enjoying Frintis’ storyline. Thought killed in the war, Frintis is instead taken as a slave and turned into an assassin by a mysterious woman with magical powers. The other character’s stories were also very interesting, as well as Vaelin’s part in the book, which in my opinion doesn’t suffer at all with the new additions.
Overall, though initially having doubts, I found this book every bit as much as enjoyable as Blood Song. I never would have believed it prior to listening, but I think Mr. Ryan made the right call by opening up the book to more characters. While the single POV format of the first book was perfect for that part of the story, multiple POVs will undoubtably expand this story into something much bigger. The narration by Steven Brand was spot on once again. Excellent series so far.
Wow, four books in, and you would expect a low in the series. Not happening here. The Dagger and the Coin series has been excellent so far, and the excellence continues here.
The book continues the same format as the others, with four central characters split among the chapters. Geder's now control's much of the world, as it is now clear the Spider Priests wish not to rule the world, but to throw it into caos. While Geder has become a tyrant, you can empathize with him as he is still a chubby boy who has been picked on most of his life within his mind. He is manipulated by those he trusts, and you feel that he is beginning to realize that he has gone too far. The other charters continue their attempts to stop Geder as the war spreads farther and farther.
This book is action packed, and it is a welcome relief to enjoy a series which gets better with each book. The narration is solid as always. I am eagerly anticipating the final book in the Dagger and the Coin.
This series has really grown on me, and The Tyrant's Law is no exception. While often an epic fantasy series will become bogged down in middle books, this series grows stronger and better with each book.
This book continues in the format of the last two, with the chapters divided among four main characters, Cithrin, the voice of the Madean Bank, Captain Wester, her body guard and friend, Geder, the naive minor noble who has made his way to power with the help of a dark foreign priest, and with the death of her husband, Clara now takes over as a main character in the book, and it is her story that drive much of the tale here.
The story itself broadens out, while at the same time, brings into focus the direction each character's role within the story. Geder continues to be manipulated by the Spider Preist, and his extreme paranoia sparks a deadly reign. The other characters conspire to bring him down, with Clara seeking to topple him from within, and Cithrin without. Captain Wester and Master Kip seek a long lost magical weapon to use against him. The country and the world itself are falling to war and famine.
Overall, this series is becoming one of my favorites. Both the writing and narration combine for an excellent book. I highly recommend this series.
While the first book was very good, The King's Blood takes the Dagger and the Coin series to a new level. The book retains the same structure as the first book, with chapters split between the four main characters, as well as few chapters to other characters. This works well to keep the pace of the book entertaining.
This series is not your typical fantasy series, as the usual fairies, elves, and other fantasy creatures are replaced by races of people made in the long lost past by dragons. They vary in type from human to humanoid like people with scales and fur. As with any population with varying races, some are wealthy, and some are victims to prejudice. There is some magic in the series, but it is not a common trait in the book, and is not a quality used by any of the main characters.
This book is driven mainly by the characters, all of whom are likable in their own way, even the villain. My favorite is Cithrin, an orphan girl who is taken in by the local bank branch, and who grows into a powerful bank manager. The other three main characters are Geder, a minor nobel who despite his bumbling nature grows to power, and becomes the villain previously noted. Captain Wester, an ex military general, who takes in Cithirin as replacement for his fallen daughter, and Dawson, a high nobel and adviser to the King, who sees the world as black and white, and is determined to force his will on the country. Also given a few chapters were Clara, Dawson's wife, and Master Kit, a traveling actor who is more than he seems.
Both this book and the Dragon's Path are driven by these characters, and I found myself looking forward to the next chapter to see what they were up to next. While their paths didn't often correspond in the first book, they begin to intertwine in this one as the story begins to take shape.
Overall, this was a very entertaining listen for me, as both the story and the narration were top notch.
This book starts out with an exciting tale of a priest who escapes from a temple where the followers worship a spider goddess. After this, the priest mostly disappears from the book until the end when his identity is revealed.
Between these two sequences, this book seems to mostly set up the characters and the beginnings of plots for the rest of the series. There are a few exciting happenings going on, but at the end of the book you realize that the major plot happenings will be in the future.
This description may not sound like a ringing endorsement for this book, but despite the relative lack of any action, I found myself really enjoying this book. There are several solid characters, and I liked most of them. The book switches between them at the right times keeping the pace moving well. Pete Bradbury's narration is solid as usual.
Overall, this book was a fun and enjoyable listen. I like to listen to my books before bed, and was surprised that this story kept me up late an more than a few occasions. I'm looking forward to the next book.
I have been thinking about this review for awhile. It is a grand book and I felt it deserved a grand review. But to give a complete review of this book would take another book to do it justice. I have decided to keep it simple.
I have read a lot of books, a listened to quite a few since joining audible. The only other series that has come close to The Stormlight Archive for me would be The Wheel Of Time by Robert Jordan. The two series have many similar plot lines, but are also very different. I know there are other reviews here comparing the two works, and it is only natural considering that Sanderson finished the WOT books. But I noticed something when listening to Sanderson's books in the series compared to Mr. Jordan's. As much as I loved all the books in the WOT series, once Sanderson took over, the pacing of the books were much improved. Whereas Mr. Jordan would have long and often time meandering chapters, sometimes staying with one character for a quarter of a book, Sanderson breaks things down into smaller chapters, keeping the flow of the book exciting, and having the reader want more, not wondering when you are going to move on. In the end, I think that is what will make this series be considered one of the best ever when it's completed. Maybe the best.
There is one other comparison between these two series. Mr. Sanderson is a prolific writer, however he currently has several projects going at the same time. If he continues on the Stormlight Archive at his current pace of approximately one book every 3 to 4 years, you have to wonder if he will suffer the same fate as Mr. Jordan and never complete this series rumored to be at around ten books. I am now in my 40s, and I wonder if I will be around to complete the series even if Mr. Sanderson succeeds.
Overall, an awesome book and excellent addition to the series. The narration is excellent as always. I will continue on whether I make it to the end or not.
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